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  CSPAN    News Politics and Public Affairs    News/Business.  

    December 10, 2012
    12:35 - 6:00am EST  

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the british house of commons. it airs live at 2:00 every wednesday when the house of commons is in session. again on sunday nights at 9:00 eastern. then the british public affairs programs. next, a discussion on the impact of skilled immigrant labor on the u.s. economy. at 11:00 q&a with crystal wright. there is another chance to see david cameron take questions from the house of commons. >> i don't mean just the channel but the able to find surprises. every month or every year i get some show that people are talking about that i don't think you can have imagined choosing. you could not convince me to choose honey boo boo. or a certain food channel networks. i don't think if i had to predetermine that was my preference i would have ever picked them. but the ability to stumble on
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them, to hear people talk about them and let me go into an environment and suddenly find i like honey boo boo and i'm watching its. i think that is a huge part of the experience and i think it is sold short. i still think a lot of americans love the enjoyment of escapism and being able to roam around the tv jungle finding things they did not know were there. >> ice -- i think people still love discovery. every month or every year, i hear some show people are suddenly talking about that i do not think you could have ever imagines choosing. if you said, i want you to choose "honey boo boo," or a certain food channel network, i
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do not think i have to predetermined that was my preference. the ability to stumble on them or to hear people talking about them and let me go into an environment and babble around in that and decide, i sort of like "honey boo boo," i think that is a huge part of the american television experience. i think it gets sold short. i think a lot of americans love the enjoyment of escaping and being able to roam around finding things they did not know was there. >> michael powell on the future of television. monday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern. now, an update on the so-called fiscal cliff negotiations between capitol hill and the white house. from today's washington journal,
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this is about an hour. fiscal cliff. joining us here is stan collender and douglas holtz- eaken. what is happening? what are the two talking about. guest: the nature of the tax increases, how much, and on the other side, what kind of entitlement reforms as the president willing to offer? that has been going back and forth for quite awhile now. there are talking about the same basic issues. host: one of the shore signs of action in washington, we have heard there is a possibility that they could come back after christmas. guest: i have been telling clients since september we were going over the cliff. i was not sure there was a sign it or coming back before christmas. this last-minute deal of some time, it could easily be
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approved -- the house and senate do not need to be here for this because it will not be the big, big deal. this is not the grand compromise they are talking about here there is not enough support to do the technical things. this could be a simple package they do at the last minute. host: even if the white house and john boehner agree to a deal, congress may not pass it. guest: that is my biggest concern. it is possible the speaker and the president could reach a deal, there is a significant portion of the republican party that would rather go over the fiscal cliff and have a deal. host: this is a very important change.
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a lot of people say, 1995 and 1996, the speaker and president clinton were able to cut a deal addicted to their caucuses what will happen. this is a different deal. he could say, if you do not like the steel, it is not clear to me if john boehner wanted the cops as they would take him up on the offer. guest: the parties are much more partisan and split. the ideological differences between them are much greater. the speaker is a little weaker than gingrich was before. the world has changed completely since 1995. guest: i would point out all the focus is on the house. how are you going to get it through the senate? mitch mcconnell is in a tough position. harry reid, he has some people
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who loves his job. he would like to be along with the progressives. i look at this and i worry because in the camp that believes going over the cliff -- the united states will enter a new recession. i do not see the basic associations on the house and senate side that would write the legislation and pass it. host: so far the markets of not reacted. does that hurt the pressure of a congress often feels? guest: no doubt about it. yes, i agree with it, this could be terrible economic consequences, but itwe talked ae now. host: i have thought a lot about this. we have seen what happens again to of these circumstances.
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there was a very sharp drop of confidence with economic consequences. if you look at the data that came out earlier this week, november, december, consumer confidence plunges. markets are expecting things to get done. oppressing a denture a deal. leadership is an able to comfort a deal, we will see market volatility. you cannot go back. i worry a lot about it as well. guest: 9 have the market's not reacted as negatively as with of the wood. they are expecting a deal and
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pressing that in. it is likely to be a big drug generate second and third. i think that will come back. a lot of members of congress need to vote against this once so they can vote for it. they need to go to the constituents and said, i voted against it, but he saw what was happening. your pension funds were getting hurt. we had to do something. host: we have been talking about the fiscal clef. exactly what is it? the bush tax cuts will expire. the 95 apparel said to expire. the new affordable care act taxes will kick in at $18
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billion. spending cuts, we have been talking about it. the budget control act will expire at a cost of $26 billion. the medicare payments will be eliminated at $11 billion. we heard last week it is not a cliff. guest: i understand that argument. we're not going to pay off $395 billion of taxes on january 1. instead, those things will take place over time. you might even delay their implementation. that is all true. it relies on the fact that households and businesses are myopic. they see as far as their toes and no further. if you do not have a deal, your taxes are going to go up.
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a lot of americans to not know a lot about the fiscal cliff. the confidence and a market reaction is very different than the spending cuts and tax increases. here is the fundamental point. i could be wrong, it happened once. why find out? it is irresponsible to govern the country this way. the sequester and across the board cut, it is bat policy. everybody knows it is bad policy. we are very close to doing it. i find the whole situation unsatisfying. host: our phone lines are open and you can also send us an e- mail. you work for a number of members of the democratic party. you work for the president. a question that comes up often is why there is a partisan divide. what has changed over the last 20 or 30 years? guest: we only have an hour so we cannot go through all of that. there are a lot of things. there are some extraordinary changes. politics as a con tact sport is a substantial change from when i worked on the hill. they did not agree on anything,
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but they enjoy each other's company. i have seen with my own eyes republicans and democrats refuse to get on the same elevator these days. as to how juvenile it has become. the parties are not as strong. there is a lot of independents relative to leadership. things are not the same. host: what have you seen over the past two decades? guest: i think the quality of the staff level helps. i think that is the biggest difference between 89-90 when i was at the white house for the first time and 2000. there are less opportunities for those skills now. without the reservoir of expertise, you see members making mistakes, locking themselves into position and
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moving too quickly. hyper partisanship israel. we know that. the enormous number of people are not affected by their votes. there will get reelected. the third, and i think the most important, there was a time -- the names that come to mind are robert reagan and clinton. this is what america needs. i have been elected by the americans, i am sending you legislation to enact this. that did something wonderful for congress. the cassette, i did not want to do this but the president asked so we are working on this. they could say, this bill was not perfect, but we fixed it. that gave congress cover to get things done that we have done
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seen since 2000. presidents operated on the notion they should just provide principles. you need a president to be able to go to his side and say i know you don't like this but we will take care of this another way and the other side can say what is important to them. we need that kind of leadership. host: this is a photograph in "the wall street journal." go back to your earlier point. bread -- there is a division between the president and the white house but also house and senate republicans. senate -- senator mitch mcconnell did not endorse john boehner's plan last week. guest: in this case, you've got substantial differences in party outlook. the tea party was always stronger in the house. what will work for senator mcconnell was running for reelection now may not work for
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house republicans. even if there is an agreement between speaker boehner and president obama, it is not clear it will be acceptable. host: david is on the phone from york, pennsylvania, republican line, good morning. caller: i'm calling from arkansas, actually. i am an attorney and i've tried to watch the actions of this president. i take into consideration the books he read and he uses the philosophers who taught him as he grew up. i really believe that based on the way he is trying -- that based on the way he has been trained, i think the president wants to go over the cliff because that will achieve the things he was buried he wants to break up the republican party. he wants to break its back and
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then he also wants to go over the cliff because he wants to have a financial crisis because if you look at the study, that is the only way he can really achieve the type of social and fiscal non-responsibility he wants to achieve. that is break the back of the economy and then we have a crisis and then he will come in and fix it. it is a very socialist way that will be unacceptable to most americans accept the slivers of the american public, the african americans, the people he got votes from, the leftists, the universities, and the people who love obama. guest: if you look at the situation and you take it from my point of view, they don't want to go over the fiscal cliff. no president wants two consecutive terms of recession. that would be a terrible way to implement your agenda. is it really a danger to go over the cliff economically?
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tim geithner said they are prepared to do that and i found that shocking. i think it is a danger that could be just politics. what are the consequences of going over the cliff? and the next question is -- are you trying to get a big deal in this situation? we have an enormous debt problem that is well recognized. we will have to have
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substantial changes and we don't have the option of not doing it but we could do it in the spring as opposed to december of this year. how much of that break problem do you import into this setting? maybe they can get a small deal and get past the cliff and we will be back to this in 2013 and that will be the place where we see him trying to implement his agenda, not here. guest: i work for a think tank interested in domestic and foreign policy issues. host: how is k street dealing with the fiscal cliff and what does that mean for your business? my guest: clients are more wall street. the uncertainty on wall street about what is going on here is astounding. the lack of understanding is ready a astounding.
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you will see many surprises and surprised people on wall street. i have been telling them since september that i thought we had a better than 50% chance of going over the cliff and they were shocked and and they are shocked now. host: what is that look like now? guest: is about. at some point this -- is about 60/40/ host: this is from david humphrey -- guest: he in effect did something very close to that. he put out a counter offer which was $800 billion in revenue raised on wealthy americans, an additional $600 billion in health program reforms, $300 billion in discretionary cuts, total deficit reduction of $2.20 trillion and it was a carbon copy of a proposal that erskine bowles made to the super committee.
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the frustration of the republican side has been that the president started with the proposal and said i want $1.20 trillion dollars in taxes and i want to get that deficit reduction. that means that as net spending of zero and it is stuck there. there has been nothing about a counteroffer that would allow negotiations to continue. to have the president missing in action on the senate side is a problem. guest: first of all, the bulls simpson plan failed.
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it did not get the required votes. the people who voted against it, the chairman of the ways and means committee and paul ryan, chairman of the budget committee, and jeff hensarling are still debating. there was not a and of support within the caucus. the amount of revenue is far in excess as to what can -- compared to what the speaker is offering. bowels-simpson was not acceptable than and it will not be acceptable now guest: it got 60% of the votes. it did not get the supermajority but it got a lot of republican and democratic support. the political construct was successful. it is not tax increases that are the key.
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it is in exchange for what. if you take that on, you have a different location -- equations. guest: how can you miss alan simpson? [video clip] ♪ >> stop getting on youtube and watching gangnam style and go sign people up on this baby. take part or get taken apart. or these folks will take apart the treasury before you get there.
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♪ ♪ host: that has gone virus. -- viral. he refers to the old coots will spend the money. those are his words. guest: i really cannot stand that video. he just raised the stakes enormously. he is right, though. one of the most important about this issue is that people who are at risk are the kids. they are the next generation who will carry an enormous amount of debt and may inherit an economy that will not given a good standard of living.
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we are leaving behind a fundamental broken promise. we do not leave a country that is strong and prosperous as we inherited. guest: we need to distinguish between the longer-term issue about reducing the deficit and the debt and the current issue is the fiscal cliff. that would be the worst fiscal policy put in place since the great depression when we put an austerity policy in place to send and through the country back into recession. the idea that we have got into a debate as to how to reduce the deficit is wrong. we say don't reduce the deficit now this fast. that is what the fiscal cliff is all about and that's why ben bernanke cannot put the phrase. guest: as exactly right, we have two very different problems. the only reason we're talking about the second issue is
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politics. this is the politics of the moment tromping economic common sense which is a dangerous combination. guest: the fiscal solution is a fig leaf to allow members of congress to say we're going to spend so the spending cuts and tax increases and let the deficit be $500 billion higher. host: the debt is at $16.30 trillion and has increased $4 trillion over the last four years. the present and congress will say that over the next 10 years, we will get it back to where was in 2009, correct? guest: that is fundamentally not good enough. countries with our level of
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indebtedness grow more slowly and they have a higher chance of some sort of fiscal crisis. we should not mess with either one of those things. i would like to see an aggressive reform of the spending programs. with the spending programs to really see that not just get back to where it was, but also to start going down. that does not happen with the austerity -- imagines fixing social security. right now a social security stay solvent because we promised in under two decades we will cut decade -- benefits by 20% across the board. an appalling way to keep the program solvent. we should fix social security so it stands and its own terms and is not cut benefits. there is an austerity involved -- it is doing the right thing for social security. fixing the future debt and
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sending the signal that we can get our house in order. does the things we ought to do in a heartbeat. host: this is from twitter -- richard is joining us on the republican line from new jersey -- caller: thanks for taking my phone call. i think bobby jindal had it right. anybody who is really a financial conservative or a radical tea party #-- member knows that the numbers do not add up. i know that i will be paying a larger amount of money next year. it does not go to my staff or lowering prices or purchasing equipment. it is up to a bloated bureaucracy. it affects future growth.
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$1 trillion over tenure sounds like a big no. but that is $100 billion per year but that does not make a dent. we have children and we know what the future will bring. i would like to have an honest discussion about the numbers. guest: richard is from new jersey with a self processed -- self professed conservative republican governor. for every dollar we spend, the deficit will go up. the numbers will get worse. in terms of the fiscal crisis, he mentioned that would be evident with interest rates. guest: you probably will see it in the equity markets first. guest: i don't think it will
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happen in december. if you go over the cliff we will see strong reactions in of we don't control the debt, the leading edge of this will be the international ratings will be downgraded for the u.s. we have had one mark down so far. the problem is politics. they are -- it is too broken to address the problem. if we go through the honeymoon period of a new congress and we don't do something substantial, they will say these politicians are too broken to take on these problems. they could give us a substantial downgrade. guest: it is not clear what the right answer is for them. going over the cliff would demonstrate that congress did not blank when they needed to
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make a substantial reduction in the deficit. would they say not going over the fiscal cliff is a good sign? you should prevent the economic downturn but put in a framework for better growth. when the s&p downgraded last year, -- we are still the most creditworthy countries. guest: we are continuing to look like the best looking worse than the glue factory. --horse in the glue factory. everyone says we are the best and we are fine but all sorts of countries get in trouble.
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this should not make people feel good about where we are. research success -- suggest we are in the zone where the risk is higher. i would prefer not to find out. guest: i'm not sure the ratings agencies are the ones which be taking our cur from, i don't know what their credibility is guest: i think their credibility remains open. i have credibility in rating government debt. i worry about them but the most important thing is if we got a substantial down grade, u.s. treasurys would no longer satisfy international banking requirements. this spills over to the way we
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will run our lives. this is something we should do anyway. guest: when we got downgraded last time, we were told that pension funds would have to dump the securities and they did not. host: guest: john boehner put out a package which was balanced in the sense the president has
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called for and included a tax increase the president wanted on high-income americans and had substantial spending cuts. why cannot the president do the guest: those cuts were specified in general terms only. guest: i would love for the president to come in as the general. host: democrats line, good morning. caller: our you doing today? i will be real quick -- this is a joke. every time i see this mr. aikens on tv, i laughed. this guy was with the regime that put us in this mess today. here is talking about social security that has never headed
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a single penny to the national debt in 78 years. when they talk about social security, they are talking about cuts. we will take money away from granma? this is a joke. the republicans got us in this mess and the republicans are preventing us from getting out of this mess by a filibuster in 386 tons. we have not had that many in the history of our country. it is the republican party that that is in this mess and the republican party who are preventing us from getting out of this mess. guest: not a fan -- on social security, the problem with the is we are promising cuts right now. that is what law says must happen unless we reform it. i think that is a terrible way to run a public pension program.
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it should have reforms. the last such reforms that have been suggested, i would be happy with any of them. there is a set of leaders and social security that is not complicated that can be done and should be done. that would be the best thing for social security. host: thank you for being on c- span. palm beach, fla., in the and the blind -- -- on the independent line -- caller: as an independent, i am starting to form an opinion that if president obama wants to go over the fiscal cliff, it
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appears that way, because he has had no credible counteroffer. he says i will give you cuts in the future but he is not specific. his speeches are always peppered with we have to invest. he does not mean in the private sector. he wants more the firefighters, teachers, policemen. this adds to the public debt. we are borrowing, from what i read yesterday, 46 cents on every dollar. that appears to me to be untenable. i am no fan of john boehner but he makes an offer that got him in touch with the rest of the republicans, by the way, because they said he was capitulating but now, obama comes back with it is not good enough. host: let me go back to the "washington times"store rate -- guest: in the current
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environment that is the correct policy. there's only one component of gdp growth providing growth and that is the federal government. in the current environment, you don't want to reduce that substantially. host: when do you bend that curve? guest: i think we are past passing stimulus bill. we have been growing officially since june of 2009. we're past the need for more fiscal policy. we need better economic growth policies. when the things that provide incentives for business investment and hiring. if you look around the globe of the countries who would have had our problem of big debt and low growth, the most subtle ones are where you keep taxes lower to provide growth like canada.
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they raised more revenue but they put in play a much more business-friendly tax system. on the spending side, you need to control spending to get the debt under control but not all spending is created equally. you want to preserve core functions of government like national security and education and you want to rein in the entitlement programs. action reform an entitlement reform -- we are not fixing entitlements, cutting core government functions. host: we have been john on the phone on the republican line from maryland. caller: good morning. i don't hear anybody talking about the real problem that we have in the united states. you cannot go into a store in the united states and buy
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american products. toyou don't put the people work, you cannot pay taxes. fore got men in jail murdering 15 or 20 people and we feed and clothe them all year. i don't understand it. host: thank you for the call. take a look of the budget and draw a say eie. where does the money go? guest: most of the money are the things that have put in place where you get benefits regardless, social security, medicare, and medicaid.
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national security and basic spending on the fans an annual preparations for education, health, and the upper structure are a small fraction. we are seeing the baby boomers retire and we have seen health care spending rise. that combination is very powerful on the federal budget. that is the biggest difference between the late 1990's and now. i love to be about to go back to the late 1990's. to do that, you would have to have another dot com bubble with an enormous amount of revenue. you have to have the baby boomers 15 years away from retiring and i don't have the luxury of the soviet union falling. the recipes that worked in the
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late 1990's worked. they don't work now. we have a different set of problems. host: from new york city, democrat blind, go ahead. caller: thank you for taking my call. even if we go over the fiscal cliff, we need a bigger plan because it does not even balance the budget. i don't think we really have a supply-side problem. they talk about cutting taxes on the right and i think there are so many people out of work and i think you need to get these people to work. i just think we have a demand issue, not a supply issue. if you're out of work, you cannot pay taxes. guest: he is exactly right -- no one is talking about a fiscal cliff that will solve
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the problem. there is no grand bargain being discussed except in the most general outline terms. there is enough to be -- nothing close to being politically acceptable. we're only talking of something of that will allow people to get through this. in the short term, we need to have fiscal policy that may get the deficit higher than what it would be. ben bernanke was saying the deficit could be cut too far and too fast at the same time. this has to be the time where we don't go into an austerity program. we are not quite there. if businesses are spending and consumers are spending and trade was helping, i would say that is the right time to be doing this. the deficit reduction has to be done in context. host: this is from "the wall street journal"last week --
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guest: they are not spending because they are angry at washington but they don't have the demand for their goods and services. that is the way it is now. they don't have a great incentive to do anything. we're spending this money on the wrong things. the president proposed additional stimulus of measures including infrastructure. i'm not sure you can rely on the private sector to kick in that quickly. host: guest: on the issue of growth -- this is a fundamental issue.
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the only disagreement is how you get to it. my concern about the fiscal cliff is it will hurt book -- growth and we will get a recession you can never fix your debt problems and a recession. businesses and their investments are its traditional kick starter to recoveries. the government doesn't necessarily have to solve this. right now, business confidence is low and falling. business investment has been negative. you need to fix that and part of fixing that is having a credible economic policy that is not something that turns on and turns of which it has been doing for years. someone should say this is the tax system, go. there is a fix on the
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entitlement system. a reading that changes is a region results of an extra tax for businesses. there is an enormous amount about the business environment you can improve now with a sensible programs. we have this 100-year old notion that the congress raised the debt ceiling. it is the belief by many conservatives that the price of doing that -- and you have to do it -- you cannot not raise the debt ceiling -- and that should be an attempt to take on future debt we saw in 2011 the politics were miserable. i would prefer to keep the debt ceiling as far away from the
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fiscal cliff discussion as possible. if you intermingled them, we lose. guest: the debt ceiling is one of the most ridiculous policies we have. you can vote to spend more money and tax less and in the fact you are also voted to increase the amount the government borrows and you can refuse to raise the debt ceiling. we should be eliminating the debt ceiling. you automatically vote to raise the desolate when you vote to spend money. the idea that we have to go through this whole thing in february again is ridiculous. host: oklahoma, independent line, good morning. caller: this republican party is a joke. they have done nothing to work with this president. they are a bunch of southern republicans. they cannot handle a black man
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telling them from a leadership position. they take an allegiance to grover norquist. give me a break. the allegiance should go to the united states of america were host: is your solution? caller: i would get rid of all of them, that's what i would do, thank you. host: will leave the bear. -- we will leave it there. caller: i have two questions. everybody keeps referring to social security as an entitlement. i paid into that, it is not an entitlement, it is mine. i have not heard any comments about all the people who pay absolutely no taxes at all. i will hang up. thank you. guest: social security qualifies as an entitlement in the sense that is not an annual appropriation. this is a technical term in
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washington that you get back much more than you put in and you qualify for it because of certain checklists we created wendell: was put together. in that sense, it is an entitlement, not different in medicare. from one of our viewers -- guest: they are unwilling to pull the trigger and make the investments. you can say the problem is conference but we cannot read every business executives mind. we do know that since june of 2009, we have been running the same playbook in a miserable growth and i think it is time to take a step back and think hard about the kind of policies we are undertaking. host: i want to respond to this earlier -- you use the phrase uncertainty, that business does
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not know what will happen. guest: i have asked business folks that if i could give you one after% certainty -- that if i could give you 100% certainty, would this affect you and they said that is not what i want. guest: response certainty and then there is bad policy. we have an enormous amount of not growing. there can be fairness and social objectives. in an environment where we have a terrible economic growth, 23 million americans out of work and some of given up entirely, we always would favor rapid growth. host:
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guest: some do, not sure i agree with that. businesses can be mad at washington all they want. if they see profits in the future, businesses will start to spend and they are not sure about a lot of what will be happening. the election is over and we will have to get past that. host: from richmond, va., democrats line. caller: we have had low taxes over last 10 years. is there any proof that says that low taxes are improving job growth? guest: let's be very clear -- there is more economic growth than just taxes.
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the quality of the tax code matters enormously. one thing i thought was promising about the run up to the elections everyone who ran for president said they wanted to do tax reform. the leaders of the key committees and the house and the senate said we would benefit enormously from comprehensive tax reform. i would like to see that happen and that is not about cutting taxes. speaker john boehner is saying $800 billion in more taxes. the route to higher revenue in the united states comes through tax reform. host: 1 not have a two-year budget? why go through this every 12 months? just guest: give me a budget. we don't even have one. guest: there are legitimate
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arguments that we should set course for two years and spent one of those years doing oversight of programs to make sure they are working the way they should be. i have some stability for that but the reality is we will not leave it totally alone over two years. the most important thing to be with to have a budget and a plan. host: is that so difficult? guest: cause we don't have anything that the house and the senate and the present have to agree on in terms of budget. the president presents a budget and congress may or may not pay attention to and the house passes a budget resolution, they are supposed to get together and agree on a but they don't have to. there's nothing that forces those three entities to operate on the same budget plan. guest: voters don't respond if there is no budget. the country has been going along without a budget. this means we would be operating with emergency
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supplemental programs. we don't have the ability to predict a couple of hours in advance much less two years from now. host: will go next to a republican line, good morning. caller: why don't we have a budget? they don't bother to come up with a budget. guest: i view this as a troubling development. we talk about what has changed in washington congress needs to do the basics. it should pass a budget, it should pass appropriations bill, we have not done that this year. we're operating under a continuing resolution. if they did those things i regular basis, while the benefits is that politicians would find out where they agree
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on things. one of the touch points between the two parties and the members is what they learn about. when you get to a point where something big is on the table, there with the groundwork laid to get those kind of deals done and we're not doing that now when i think it is hurting the process. host: democrats line and we're looking at the fiscal cliff, go ahead. caller: good morning. i want to know why we keep talking about social security and medicare? why are we not talking about ssi and medicaid? that is where the problem really lies because they have not paid into the program. it's attached to social security and medicare. if we want to fix the situation, we need to cut to that plus all these charitable contributions.
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we've got people spending money for christmas so why are we not able to have money in the economy? guest: on the medicare aside -- this is a very important issue were one needs a lot of public a lot -- a lot of public education about the numbers and the reality. the gap between peril taxes paid in and premiums paid into medicare and spending going out his $3 billion per year. that program is a big part of the problem. it is also true of medicaid and ssi, i think they should all be looked at carefully we have sold this section to the american public that they pay a dime into a program, they deserve all the benefits. the gap between what you pay into medicare and when you get out is hundreds of thousands of dollars. it will be nice if you could
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run a country that way and it works but it doesn't we will have to get back to the arithmetic and realize that medicare and medicaid have these big fiscal gaps and we need to think about how we can run them. host: guest: good question, we don't need a budget which is not required by the constitution. unlike your home budget, the budget of the united states is an internal working document. actual spending occurs under appropriations bills which are supposed to be passed each year and mandatory spending on things like cells security, medicare, and interest on the debt where we made that commitment years ago and they continue until the president and congress changed them.
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the budget is a measuring stick. we have not had one for a the budget is a measuring stick. we have not had one for a bunch of years on the country has not gone to hell in a handbasket. the budget resolutions we're not talking about were first required by the congressional budget act of 1974. for almost 200 years, there was no actual requirement that the government have a budget and we did fine. host:stan collender is a graduate of and why you and uc-berkeley. and douglas holtz-eakin. i will go to the next caller who is joining us from ohio, on the independent line. .
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caller: good morning. why don't we do -- what are we paying congressman and senators salaries -- they are making a lot anyway this, they pay less taxes than i do -- why don't we just stop their salary and benefits until we get on -- until they get on the ball and take care of this situation before the end of the year? guest: i am a fan of this and i have written that unless they pass a budget, they should not get paid. this is their job and they are not doing it. i don't understand why we allow failure of the most basic sort to be rewarded. guest: because they got reelected and their constituents voted for them and
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that they did not want them there, they should have voted them out of office. they do more than just a budget. i am not trying to forgive them but they are voting on lots of different things and doing other things. guest: they are not doing enough. host: christmas eve is two weeks from tomorrow and people suspect congress will still be in session, then what? guest: my guess is that congress will be her own and some form until december 31 and will come back quickly on january 3 after we have gone over the fiscal cliff. guest: i suspect congress and the president to be around close to new year's eve. the probability is that rationality will prevail and the president and congress shall make a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff and another recession.
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host: for that to happen, something has to happen this week? guest: not this week but every day that so little gets done raises the chance it will go wrong. i worry about that a lot. guest: it is a small deal, they can do something quickly. it may not require even a roll-call vote. to do the big deal, they did not have enough time to do the big deal when congress reconvenes on november 13. so the idea with two weeks to go is very small. host: final word? guest: i think it is time to talk about the spending side. look at anyone trying to run a federal agency and they are being told the budget will be cut at 14% across the board beginning january 2. this is a ridiculous way to run a country. host: douglas holtz-eakin is the former director of the
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congressional budget office. stancollander thank you both for being with us. >> and now a lookity role of lob yist in the negotiations on the so called fiscal cliff. this is from today's washington journal and is 25 minutes. guest: in washington it is an economic driver, millions and millions of dollars are being spent to influence the law makers and white house from
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outside groups you see, the chamber of commerce to the new coalition groups that have sprung up. >> and special interest groups aren't at the table because they have money and they sates their freedom of exprex. >> it's a push poll as somebody who covers lobbying you see every day. there are some different groups that have come up that aren't your average lobbying entity trying to influence the bill. host: let me share with you a couple of adds and we've been hearing from aarp about the fiscal cliff and they've used this front and center to their campaign guest: abslutly. these groups for seniors and non-traditional. men with suitcases in the back room doing lobbying but it's
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groups representing every day americans are trying to influence what is going to happen host: we're serious reducing the deficit, we have to come bine spending cuts with revenue >> no real spending reform. the time for politics has ended which we need bipartisan ideas we can all support. call president obama and tell him it's time to show us a balanced plan because every day wasted is another $4 billion we're deeper in debt host: do spots like this make a difference? guest: i don't know. i think people advertise because they are trying to get their mess out to the state. i don't think it impacts what the final deal is going to be.
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host: what is? guest: he says it's th it's strining time, for people outside of washington what should they think? guest: for washington it's been a slow year. this congress has been called the least to do anything in a long time and so what we're seeing is a lot of firms and pr shops and add firms like the one we just saw are getting hired to do this work. host: we are focusing on the fiscal cliff. the campaign to fix the debt which is one of the organizations you write in your piece tww former senator allen
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simpson. >> stop instagramming your breakfast and getting on youtube so you can see gangnam style and start using those precious social media skills to go out and sign people up on this, three people a week, let it grow and don't forget take part or get taken apart. these old coats will clean out the treasury before you get there. guest: i have read about him n.
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washington it's better -- i've never seen a senator do the dance quite like that. host: the campaign to fix the debt has grown to 80 employees with 22 state offices and 2500 small businesses that have joined this campaign. guest: it's strat fear i can. i don't think i've seen the level because it's c.e.o. led so it's gotten a bunch of buzz. both chambers wants to meet with them and the white house wants to meet with them and it's created an interesting wrink toll see if they move on the other issues or if this is such a big one they feel they need to weigh in on it. host: why is aarp influencing the governor good but drover nor quist is tweesist?
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guest: i think negotiate is trees nist. i think the pledge and the hold on some of the republicans in office. but i cover this stuff. both sides are often, they are all trying to make as big a case as they can host: basically looking at the president's second term ageneral dand there is no money recant begin any new government programs. my question is when it comes to lobbying in washington how does it change what they want to get from the next congress? guest: if you look two years ago it was all about trying to get discretionary spending for certain programs for companies. and now i think what you're going to see is a focus on tax reform which is getting specific provisions that may seem to us as not big of a deal but can be millions of dollars for companies bottom line.
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host: independent line, good morning. caller: yes, sir. i'm a blue dollar worker and looking at it from a blue collar worker standpoint. the constitution, we the people. we entrusted the politicians with our hard earned money to do what was right. and i think if you're going to make some decision making, you should start with the congressmen and take some of the money from them we have given them trusting them to do what was right and to $16 trillion in debt is ridiculous. guest: i think a lot olvet truszkowski fration a lot of people have with how the government works but certainly we're going to see in the next
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three weeks or so, depending on if we go over the cliff or not, a real sense of whether they're going to be able to tackle a bigger picture and get down the debt. host: this lame duck session is hotter than most, everybody has got a knows under the tent. what is he referring to? >> that's a woman. she's referring to the fact usually you have a certain industry or you have a come of groups that are going to come together and lobby on an issue. but serve affected by this issue which is why tens of millions of dollars are being spent on it host: and we've had an explosion in the last five or six years, how are they using social media tools? guest: it's one of the biggest changes we've ever seen in trying to empower people in the
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states and try to get grass roots. and members of congress pay attention. i've talked to them on the hill, and they get a lot of tweets on something they pay attention because they are always looking to their next election. host: republican line, good morning. caller: good morning. i'm one of the ones everybody is talking about taking from the entitlement. i am disabled and i live in a community for 12k5eub8d seniors. in the last year and a half i've gotten food stamps as well as social security and ssi. i did work. i pate into social security. i do not consider it to be an entitlement because you pay
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in. it is something that is totally set apart and it should not even be considered that someone would cut in. i don't understand why this is such an interest to people who were just trying to take it away. we need some reform. taking it away is crazy. and so appreciative. without it, i would not be able to live. host: your final thought? caller: i'm living on $700 a month. people in the congress and senate do not have a clue on how to live on $700 a month but they spend all this money renovating their offices. all of the ways to going on,
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why can they not go in that ways and stop talking about the entitlement programs. host: thank you for being with us. guest: social security will be a hot ticket item. there's no interest in using the fiscal cliff to cut in to social security. host: wilmington, ill., with anna palmer of politico. caller: i'm still stuck on a social security and entitlements. i retired. i worked for my social security. i never hear anybody talk about the va. i worked there for quite a number of years. i got retirement benefits from that. no one says that's an entitlement.
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why is the va not being asked? it is that being considered? host: in little bit off topic, but maybe you want to reply? guest: these are the types of issues in terms of seniors, entitlements, and medicare, these groups really do focus on this in making sure if they want to see changes or not that those kinds of voices are heard. host: who is doing the lobbying? does it really make a difference? to talk about social media but these people are going up to the capital trying to push for their causes. does it make a difference? guest: it is unclear how many influence any of these groups have.
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we will see if there are any red flags are there going to take a piece of a social security or do something like that. they are prepared to fight back. certainly, in terms of fixing the debt and ceo-level discussions, there does bush and members of congress to do something. they do not have a prescriptive plan for them to take on. host: richmond, va., good morning. caller: i want to talk about the fiscal cliff and several issues. i am 55 years old. i finished college. i have run in several businesses. i decided to go into nursing. i have been unemployed for the
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last year and they took food stamps and i now have a job for $9 an hour. i want the republicans to tell me how i'm supposed to live on $9. i have a daughter in college. they don't care. they only care about the rich and the bigger corporations. host: going back to the opening question when people look at what is happening in washington as an example of what he is now dealing with. guest: it's tough. these are really big issues. we just had an election where the president ran on tax reform and this is a big friction point right now in terms of who should pay more in trying to settle these fiscal issues. host: another big part of the debate is going to be taxes. who makes up this organization
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and what will be their focus next year? guest: the rate coalition as a group of companies like verizon and there are a bunch of them all a part of this. host: at&t, home depot, lockheed martin. guest: they want lower corporate tax rates and that is something that speaker boehner and president obama are fairly symbiotic gone. the point being they're really trying to set the stage to get ready to move right away and just trying to push forward tax reform which does not happen very often. it would be a once in a generation thing to actually open up the tax code and really revise it. host: last time they did that was 1986. is this the opening act for the main performance over
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taxes? guest: a lot of people. but like that and you already see the conversation that are already happening by the chairman of the committee that would be running battery right. host: fred from gramercy, louisiana. good morning. go ahead. caller: i have had a job since i was roughly 14 or 15 years old. i paid social security and i paid in to medicare. i don't understand why they don't leave these programs alone. when a person passes away, if the family qualifies, they get death benefits of $255. if they want to keep what their parents or grandparents had
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come and they have to pay inheritance tax. i don't understand why they don't leave these programs alone. they spend billions of dollars on vacations, insurance for themselves. the american people are tired of seeing this happen. host: anna palmer of politico. guest: the frustration is something you hear over and over. i covered the election out in the states and this is really that a lot of people are feeling this pressure since they paid into the system and there is a real struggle. one reason why this fiscal cliff could happen is because these are some really tough issues they're going to have to try to figure out a way to deal with. host: we heard of the idea of a grand bargain, talking about going big. that's not part of the dialogue now. will that change in january?
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guest: it's hard because congress only acts when they have to. i think what you're going to see is a bridge right before or after the holidays and into the new year. if they do actually take on tax reform, that would be a massive overhaul, but we will see. a lot of these must-do packages get a lot attached to them. host: iowa, democratic line, good morning. caller: being that we have a all of these super pac's and lobbyists giving all this money, why do they not take these super pac's and money
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issued for the lobbyists, why can they not turnaround down tax that money at 50% across the board? it would take the wealth out of the election and it would make elections less expensive. it would be something you could apply to the dead or given back to the government to that 50%. it would fund some of these programs. guest: that's an idea i have not heard of but it would be an interesting proposal, especially the idea that there would open up the tax code and there are different codes in the irs of there would have to be legislative action. that could be an interesting twist to find revenue. host: our next caller is mark from san diego. good morning.
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go ahead, mark. caller: vision are really blame the president for all these problems because the walked into it. he's doing a good job. he does need to let him do what he does and it will be all right. host: politico as information on who benefited most. any information? guest: where bogus. what is going happen next in the future. host: speaking of profits, who is profiting on the discussion of the debt ceiling in the fiscal cliff? guest: p.r. firms, law firms, lobbyists. they're trying to make this campaign and they have been highlighting multiple
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entities. host: this issue is as real people and real situations, but these help washington lobbying, don't they? guest: absolutely. the business of washington are people who are lobbyists and work at these nonprofits. it is an economic generator in this town. host: jim from connecticut, republican line. caller: i have two questions. first, if there is no agreement by the december 31st deadline, can the congress act in such a way that any change in the law would be retroactive to january 1, 2013?
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do you believe the congress will consider solving for the individual taxpayer instead of the lobbyists? how do we get that turned around? guest: my answer to the upper question now, whether or not they can retroactively take on some of these issues so they do not pass it they can go on in postdate, that is something that have done quite often in terms of tax extensions in different bills where they will pass in february but it will be effective until january. host: industries benefiting most from this issue in terms of lobbying against sequestration in this issue of the fiscal cliff. education, health care, civil service and public officials. our last call joining us from
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buffalo, new york, good morning. caller: are you there? host: please, go ahead. caller: i am 21 years old and i resign myself to the fact that there will be no social security for me in the future. i wanted to go back to grover norquist and talk about the joint select committee on deficit reform from to thousand 11 and what a disaster that was. grover norquist and his posse, if you will come through a wrench into that -- if you will, threw a wrench in that. alan simpson stepped up and said something along the lines of and no taxes ever?
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my point in saying this was i think the republicans and the libertarians that follow it grover norquist are teh cog in this situation and they are holding of the country's progress. we will not be going anywhere unless they budge. guest: there's a lot of frustration. among the members of congress on the right, republicans who have publicly come out saying they would erase the pledge, if there was a big approach, they would consider raising taxes. host: we would leave it there. anna palmer of politico, thank you for being with us. >> tomorrow on washington
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journal how ke quest tration could affect the national security policy. then more on the impact of sequestration with gourd don adams 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. next, former joint chiefs chairman mike mullen talks about the impact of the federal debt on national security. then senate finance committee chairman max baucus of montana talks about the so-called fiscal clipped negotiations. after that, a discussion on possible changes to current tax laws. >> i think people still love discovery in general. the ability to find this surprising. every month or every year i hear about some show people are
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suddenly talking about that i do not think you could have ever imagined -- if you came to me, i boo -- choose honey boo or a certain food channel network, if i had to predetermine my preference, i do not think i would ever pick them. but you hear people talking about them, you go into the environment, suddenly you find, you know what, i like honey boo boo. i think that is a huge part of the american television experience. it is so short -- i still do think a lot of americans love a the escapism and being able to roam around the tv jungle finding things they did not know were there. >> michael powell on the future
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of television -- monday night at 8:00 eastern on the communicators. >> president obama and house speaker john boehner met at the white house today to discuss ongoing negotiations over the impending fiscal cliff. both men agree to not release details of the conversation. last tuesday, former joint chiefs chairman admiral mike mullen called on congress to avert the so-called fiscal cliff and lay a framework for a debt reduction and economic growth over the next two years. he spoke of a forum hosted by the coalition for fiscal and national security. this is about 45 minutes. >> all set?
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good afternoon. thank you for coming. my name is pete peterson. i want to give you first a review of our foundation and why we are supporting the project you will hear about today. starting about 30 years ago, after starting the profound demographic trend and the vast unfunded promises we had made, i decided that our projected long term, and i emphasize long-term paths were not only unsustainable but the primary threat to our future. speaking of unsustainable, in the next white house in which i served, the chairman of the council of economic advisers -- he said, if something is
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unsustainable, it tends to stop. he said, if you do not like that, if your horse dies, i suggest you dismount. i think we have been behaving as though we can ride this dead horse more or less indefinitely. in lieu of a quiet retirement and as a confirmed masochist, i decided to set up a non-partisan foundation whose principal mission would be to increase awareness of the long term debt and various solutions and try to get something done. never in my experience have our fiscal security, our economic security, and national security been more closely linked. indeed, in the words of admiral mullen, the single greatest threat to our national security is our debt. we are endlessly reminded that
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everything must be on the table, including defense, which accounts for 20% of the budget. but defense is not really seem to be on the table. in terms of widely discussed solutions or strategies. instead, we confront sequestration, a thoroughly bad idea for getting your defense budget or any other budget -- unless we take action, we could face a fiscal crisis that forces cuts to our military priorities, at deep and arbitrary cuts that are not coherent nor prioritized. the question is, can we, and how do we achieve savings? to improve our fiscal outlook will meeting and national security needs. to " admiral mullen again, he
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said that the pentagon budget was basically double in the last decade. in a doubling we have lost the ability to prioritize, to make hard decisions, to do tough analysis, to make trades. we also need a review of our defense strategy that makes it sure that we are preparing for the threats and risks of the 21st century, not those of the past. the foundation has funded two efforts along these lines to help advance the best ideas for improving our defense strategy. earlier this year, we find it a project by the simpson center, which brought together 15 defense experts to examine our strategic defense priorities in some detail and how they should be reformed. today, we announced a new coalition for fiscal and
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national security, the coalition, chaired by admiral mullen, include senior national security, defense, and economic officials from republican and democratic administrations stretching back for more than 30 years, as well as leaders from the congress, including some very distinguished gentleman here today. they have also done nation with distinction. they are joining together now to say very clearly that our leaders must find solutions to our long-term fiscal challenges, because our nation's security depends on it. it is now my pleasure to introduce the chairman of the coalition, admiral mike mullen. he served as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, a very distinguished 43-year career in the united states navy, including service as chief of naval operations.
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while serving in the navy, he also managed to obtain advanced management training at the harvard business school. you have the combination of practical military experience and sharp budgeting and management knowledge that admiral mullen possesses. respect for him is the reason so many distinguished individuals chose to join this coalition. it is my pleasure to introduce admiral mike mullen. there he is. [applause] guest: thanks. thanks. thanks for your leadership on this project, which goes back decades. i appreciate all of you coming here today at what is a truly critical juncture for our nation.
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in terms of a national security. our economic viability, and are continuing leadership role overseas. it was in response to a reporter's routine question more than two years ago that i first link to these concerns. he asked me simply, what is the greatest threat to the united states national security? as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, i asked that all the time. i answered in two words -- our debt. i think i surprised him. today, 15 former senior national security officials who served across eight presidential administrations have formed a coalition to stress the need for elected officials to act. not only has the passage of time exacerbated some of the economic problems, it has revealed perhaps an equally dangerous political one -- our inability to grapple with pressing fiscal challenges
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represents nothing less than a crisis in our democratic order. compounding the instability and unpredictability in a volatile world. our propositions for this coalition are simple -- the national security of the united states depends on its economic health. that health must be insured by averting the immediate crisis and by laying the groundwork for a rigorous long-term program of debt reduction, smart investment, economic growth, and a lower income inequality. in national security spending -- we can target investments much more efficiently in response to threats that are evolving before our eyes. resources need to be shifted toward non-military elements of a national security posture. in the immediate term, and by that i mean over the next four weeks, we must avoid driving our
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country over the fiscal clef. no partisan ideology is worth the cost to our nation. averting the disaster and kicking the can on the tough structural decisions needed to place our economy on a sound footing for the future is not enough. we are calling for a framework build out over the next 10 years to reduce the deficit and restructure fiscal policy. and eventually to bring the budget into balance. this framework must include tax reform to raise more revenue, encourage growth, and enhance progressivity. it must include parameters defining future levels of debt as a share of the gp. a date by which the budget will be balanced. it must include changes to discretionary spending, entitlements, as well as defense. our elected leaders should
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launch a process to enact legislation that will construct this framework in 2013, including powerful but appropriately faults and enforcement mechanisms. we have -- without a week calibrated fiscal policy, but international standing will decline and national security will be undermined. such an outcome would be bad for the united states and in our view that for the world. as pete said, he and i are joined here today by three distinguished individuals. servants of america for decades and who made a difference, had to come up with tough solutions to very complex problems. it has been a real privilege for me to be with them in approaching what this coalition -- those who are not here today have brought here together to try to inject some energy at the
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right place at the right time. next up here will be senator sam nunn, a longstanding chairman at -- of senate armed services, who understands our national security as well or better than anyone i have ever worked with. [applause] >> first, thanks to pete peterson for getting this group together and for so much else. and what the peterson foundation has done in terms of bringing attention to the fiscal challenge we face and mobilizing support for a rational and sane and fiscal policy. second, admiral mullen, thank you for your tremendous leadership, both in military and as a citizen in recent months. you have led the way in your statement that basically the biggest risk that we have to
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national security is our debt and our unsustainable fiscal policy is one that i totally endorse and agree with. i commend you for making it. your impact is very powerful. that is really my first point. my second point is that even if we avoid the short-term debt crisis, the so-called cliff, and i hope that we well, the interest on debt in the years to come will increasingly dominate the budget. it will pressure defense in a serious way. without a long-term 10-year solution come as yearmullen outlined -- admiral mullen outlined, the defense budget will be under increasing pressure. that is inevitable and interest rates have not even started going up, which is also a inevitable at some point. third point, the internal
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defense budget and the dynamics of the internal defense budget also make the problem more difficult and more complicated. also require a longer term to address some of this. first of all, rising health-care costs, retirement costs, and inefficiency. each of those has its own individual complexities, but all are enormously important. the budget in defense is going to have to be addressed even if the top line is one that is a rational topline. in other words, we have entitlements in the defense budget now which are comparable to the entitlements that all of us know that we have got to deal with outside of the defense budget. my fourth point is that the debt and the fiscal picture make diplomacy and development in very poor countries of the world, as well as what has for
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years been called preventive defense -- it makes all of this more difficult and less feasible. thereby increases america's risk and increase its global instability. because we are not in a position to do things that we otherwise would be in a position to do. in terms of shaping the environment to prevent war. in my view, america's fiscal picture increases the risk of conflict around the globe. maybe not always involving the u.s., but certainly the risk is increasing globally based on our fiscal picture. the fifth point i would want to make is that the budget deal requires us to deal with a full deck of cards. the people who keep wanting to put things off the table are not being rational in terms of addition and subtraction. when i say full deck of cards, that includes defense participating in deficit
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reduction. this cannot be in the case of defense a sledge hammer approach. it is going to take a long runway dealing with these issues over time. give the defense department time, and they can make very significant changes in the budget. but do it in a way that does not damage our security. doing it abruptly, as the fiscal cliff does, or doing it in a very compressed time frame is not only inefficient, it endangers security. my final point is that the missing element in this town is primarily political well. i say that in regard to both political parties. the solution, the solution that has to be forthcoming in the weeks and had and the months ahead, will require our leaders to first of all put our nation first. that is going to be the primary focus of our political leadership, to put the interest of our country first. so thank you for your
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leadership. it is a great pleasure for me to be here with john warner and ike skelton, to individuals i have enormous respect for. i am not sure my role is to introduce either one of them -- but who is next, is a great pleasure to be with you. ike skelton. [applause] >> thank you, sam. pete peterson, thank you for your vision in putting this effort to gather. you could not have a better chairman and then admiral mike mullen. his leadership has been outstanding and will continue to be a standing through this effort. the late barbara tuchman, historian, author, once wrote a book entitled "march of folly, "
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which talked about how certain countries took action and measures that were contrary to the interests of their own country. i think that we are close to writing another chapter for that both should we go into sequestration and not have this challenge before us. -- settled then settled properly. i have spent some 34 years in congress. i worked well with the gentlemen on the stage, and i can tell you good stories about sam nunn and john warner, and how we worked out some very difficult issues, that we got them done. i think sam is absolutely right
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-- it is a matter of political will. let me say that the alternative of not producing a solution to this debt crisis, the so-called , would bring about the sequestration, the slicing of the military right in half. that would be a disaster in many respects. across the world, people would see we cannot handle our own country while, our own defense well. people across the world would see as failing to fulfill the duty of the constitution to provide for the national defense. it is up to congress to do that.
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after we get this done, let's hope that it does come to pass. a second challenges out there -- that is the challenge to glue together a strategy that will keep this country safe and secure. back in the 1947 era, george keenan sent what is known as the long telegram from moscow to the white house, spelling out the rise of the soviet union and its intentions. president truman, my fellow missourian, and his staff put together the containment strategy that stayed in place through general eisenhower's presence and later, intel, as you know, the wall of berlin came tumbling down and the soviet union imploded upon
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itself. the strategy worked. after we get this, it is important that we glued together a national strategy. there is not one single threat out there, but many -- terrorism, forced upon force, state against state challenges. that is what we must do. we must nurture those in the war colleges and the state department who have the strategic vision tha, the abilio glue together a good strategy and make sure those come to pass. so i am hopeful we can solve the problem, that the congress can come together, as we did for many years, that in a difficult choices. if you watch the comedians from time to time, you will see larry
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the cable guide -- let me tell you if phrase from him to the congress. git 'er done. thank you. [applause] >> i remember giving a graduation speech wednesday and the graduate put a note in my hand -- i read it during the invocation. a very brilliant piece of wisdom. it said, you should be brief if you want to be real invited. i'll be brief -- deval handled it well. i have a short message. my friend of decades, pete peterson, who exemplifies those in the country who have been given the privilege to rise to economic strength and material means and now you are paying back your country what it did for you. admiral, you and i have been by
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each other side for many a year. i can recall -- you have served your nation, and thank you for stepping up to take this on with pete peterson. to my colleagues, sam and i -- he was chairman, i was ranking for years. isaac was and there. -- ike was in there. our leaders told us, you have a problem, the ranking member would solve it. do not bring it back to me. we went into those conferences on the defense bill -- day after day and night after night. it was not until we reconcile the differences, the leadership of both the house and the senate -- and we presented it to the majority leader and the deputy in both houses. we got it done. that seems to be lacking today. i want to talk a little bit
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about that one point. they have stressed the importance of defense -- i wish to associate myself with that. we can reduce it, but we have to reduce our defense spending somewhat gradually. but it should and will take its share of the cats. but it has to be done very carefully. as ike pointed out, we live in a global society. we are the only real major superpower. what we do affects the whole world. this problem that we have is not just for the citizens of this country. it affects the livelihood, the ability of citizens all over the world, rich and poor. and of all faiths. this is our responsibility -- it is on the president and the congress. but under the framework of our
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constitution, we have to come together, resolve our differences for the betterment of all. one thing about every single member of congress -- they raise their hand and say they support the constitution of the united states. i'm going to in a very simple way read the preamble which says it all. if we are to remove the uncertainty, that is the most insidious problem we have today, the uncertainty that this great republic cannot and will not govern itself and in that will help the world. we have to go back to this, which every member used to carry in its pocket. we the people of the united states, in order to order a more perfect union and establish justice and so forth, tranquillity, and provide for the common defense -- that is what we are talking about -- provide for the common defense in a careful, measured way, and
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secondly, promote the general welfare. not just the welfare of the haves or the have nots. it is the general welfare of all citizens of this country. and secure the blessings of liberty under this constitution. members ought to simply read that and say to themselves, what can i do? well, our press release says they should communicate with the people. i would like to pose a challenge. here assembled, and i thank each of you for coming, are the people that hold the levers of communication. we only have a short period of time to communicate. i think we should communicate to those people who are benefiting the most in this country, from the economic status, that that status has been achieved in a large measure by many years of hard work, sweat, toil, and
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taking risk, but now is your chance, individually and collectively, to step up and communicate with your members of congress. the major donors -- you know this. those who benefit the most, who have the most at stake by what we call the transfer and update about tax structure -- communicate now like to have never communicated before with your members of congress. your letter, your communication, however you choose to do it, particularly if you are one of the major donors, will have an impact on that member. they need to know that back, their support will support them again if they seek reelection. it is as simple as that. as sam and others said. by so doing, we remove the
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question of whether or not this great republic, which happens to be the oldest, longest continuously operating democratic form of government today, will continue to rule on. that is what is at stake. we have got to remove the uncertainty and show we understand the constitution -- what governing means. let's governor. thank you. [applause] >> we are happy to take questions. >> my question involves whether or not you believe the american people clearly understand what is at stake. we have tended to not focus with that request pressure -- adequate pressure and clarity on what will happen if we continue.
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i have only seen one study myself of the various options for how the economy will react if, for example, we go to the window to raise more money and simply failed. or fail without a sharp increase in net interest rate -- that would be one scenario. another would be a repeat of the suez canal crisis. i guess it was president eisenhower who informed anthony eden that if they did not pull their troops out of the suez when they landed, they would take over from the nationalization -- we would not roll over their debt. they left. i am not sure if they go from seminar to seminar, fix the debt this morning, for example, there was no one sitting here like yourself who said, i am the person who represents the debt,
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the negative cost of no decisions, the negative cost -- the cost of continuing where we are going. have we adequately communicated that to the american people, that it is not just an individual reelection at stake, it is jobs at stake. we could see another recurrence of 2008 and 2009 very easily with the order of magnitude greater. we could see a recurrence of the energy crisis, where i first met mr. peterson. which completely blindsided the government. what can we do to get this out in a clear way? >> your the chairman. >> this is a subject i have thought about.
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i tend to think the two possible crises -- one is a short to medium term crisis. in which, as we experience partly at the time of the debt limit and the super committee debacle, financial markets lose confidence in our country and you have eight european or many -- a mini-european stock prices. at which point it is hard to get money, interest rates go up and so forth. even in the best case, if we do not take action you have a long- term growth crisis. what does it take for us to grow? it takes investment in the future. it takes investment in equipment and r&d and science and education and infrastructure and so forth. the question many people do not want to consider is, where do we get those resources with those
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enormous debts? i asked our research department if they would make a reasonable prediction of how important interest costs would be if we did nothing, and their estimate, without any exposure with interest rates, was as follows -- in 25 years or so, our interest costs would jump from 1% of the g.d.p. to 12% of the gdp. roughly four times the total investment made in r&d, science, education, infrastructure. if we -- we will have assured that we are going to have what i call a slow-growth crisis. that is at least my way of formulating what happens if we do not do anything. please takeover -- this is yours, not mine. >> one of the things i do not claim to be here is an economic expert, although it is from a
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national security standpoint -- i have felt this way for years that it is not just about the health of our economy. is around the world -- the health of the economy is that generate positive outcomes. and the opposite is true as well -- from the defense standpoint, i think, as senator nunn pointed out, if the debt continues to grow it will just continue to eat at us. when you put in the kind of time bombs that sequestration is, at least that was the extent, it was supposed to be so heinous that congress would never permitted to happen, and yet we are on the verge of it happening. for a force that has been fighting over the past five years -- and is stretched and strapped, at a time when there is clearly increasing pressure
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on the defense budget, and i am one who has said for a long time the defense ought to pay its fair share -- what i worry about is in terms of immediate impact of maybe to get to youa part your question, do people understand this, i worry about acceleration that going after that cliff creates to create a hollow force very rapidly. we're halfway through the fiscal year. half of the money is gone. if the president does what he said he is going to do, takes the accounts out of the books, if you will, from the standpoint of any cuts -- you have the totality of the cuts focused on a very small percentage of the budget. that gets into operations and training and the kind of things that really short us in the near
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term. i think senator nunn said the same thing. i have been concerned for a long time that we get our heads up and look at how the long term strategy, being involved in this project, one of the things that struck me was that at the end of , the percentage the global g.d.p. the united states was was huge. that is no longer the case -- we have many other growing economies and i think the opportunities in a world that is so interlinked, and i have been around the world, many places asking questions about united states or where we are now. i would hope, and maybe it takes a crisis like this to focus the mind of all americans that this must be resolved, it was a very important issue during the election, which involved an
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awful lot of the american population. i would just hope that that emphasis and that focus would bring a solution both for the near term as well as the long term. the longer-term, debt keeps increasing, basically the pentagon budget, the national security but it gets smaller and smaller. we are becoming more and more unable to carry out requirements that exist for us in the national security team. not as the pentagon, but the state department. more and more other parts of our government involved in national security. >> from politico -- i am wondering if there is consensus among the groups about the size of cuts the pentagon can weather. a second question, how do we know whether they have merely kick the can down the road, or if they have laid the groundwork for a lot -- a larger deal in 2013.
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what will those look like? thank you. >> i think there is -- the pentagon has taken approximately the 2012 and 2013 budgets, assuming the budget goes into effect, about $900 billion out. i think there is consensus in terms of what senators warner and nunn have said, we need to do this over an extended period time in a way that has a gradual flows of the pentagon can actually plan for the future. if we take out another $500 billion, which is in sequestration, and the way, as i understand, the way the law requires the cuts to be taken, axe right at thea middle, which will be very difficult to do in any smooth way. i am confident that with a
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longer-term view the pentagon can be fine. one of the things that the group agrees on is that both with that time and where we are in terms of our overall requirements in a changing world, the advancement of technology, the quality of the people we have -- they are the best i have seen in over 43 years and have had the privilege to wear the uniform. the pentagon -- will be fined from a defense standpoint. i would also pick up on what senator nunn said. i have seen this in countries and regions globally, where the failure to be able to invest in preventive defense, having a relationship, helping other military strain in their own countries, not being able to do that just increases the likelihood of some kind of conflict breaking out, which may or may not involve us. that preventative pieces one of
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the first pieces that leaves under this kind of pressure. i do think that with -- if this is well done, creating a framework that the national security team moving forward can put something in place which will address these specifically and can be done in 2013 -- falling off a cliff makes it very difficult. >> i have often said that i am an example of having hundley served in uniform twice with great consequence, but i have seen this defense structure since the closing year of world war ii until today. 30 years in the senate, five years in the navy secretary. you cannot shrink defense and expect to glue it back together
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the next day. it has to -- it is like a mighty ship moving. it can break down, slowly and carefully, and it can work more efficiently. we recognize this. but it is not something you can break and then fix. because people are what support it. it is the young men and women of the all volunteer force. world war ii, i volunteered, but many of them were draftees. we do not want to go back to that. if we do -- we do not go back to because there are sufficient numbers to will step forward and volunteered. if they see their country beginning to let defense not be a organization they will join, they are not likely to join in the numbers or quality we need. never before in history, in my time, have i seen more urgency
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for the citizens to communicate with the congress. not the congress talking, the citizens. i hope you put it in your message -- now is the time for them to speak directly to their members. to avoid this sequestration. >> bob sam mills from "the washington post." i think the proposals of the administration are to reduce the marine corps by 20,000 and the army by 80,000 from their peaks. there is much speculation that further cuts in the pentagon budget would lead to additional cuts in the army and the marines. if the united states was put in a position where it had to
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occupy and protect the oil fields of the persian gulf for an extended period of time, five or six years, are those forces adequate to do the job? >> one of the reasons i was able to get through the chairman is i try not to speculate too much on hypotheticals. the reductions in both the army and the marine corps have been in the budget now -- they have been on the hill, the beginnings of them, have been on the hill for the better part of the year. they are reductions both chiefs of the services and the chairman support. clearly, and i did as well, when i was chairman over a year ago. there was a need to come down. there was an expectation to do that as we move from what was a couple years ago to wars to now the war in afghanistan, where
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today we still have over 60,000 troops deployed. as we move to come out of that war over the next couple of years. i think, based on, as i said before, to look to the future, the pentagon spends a lot time looking at contingencies and possibilities in terms of planning. there is a view that -- and i am of this view, it would have to be a high bar to put a significant number of troops on the ground in some country. that said, i am also wanted to go back the last 30 years and say that our ability to protect what we're going to do, our batting average is pretty close to zero. that gets back to this has got to be done very carefully. this troop reductions will not happen overnight. again, if there is a strategy that looks out long-term, the
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pentagon has a chance to meet debt, and i think that contingency, what ever they might be, will be able to be met. i have great confidence in our men and women and the leaders who lead the services as well. >> rich miller, bloomberg. given the possibility that some sort of action may be necessary against iran and the middle east next year -- does that argue for getting this thing, putting this thing on a sound footing now rather than having it hanging over you. you came back and said kicking dothe can down the road is not a viable strategy. what mayor may not happen in iran -- does that add to the arguments? >> i think, clearly the
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uncertainty out there with respect to iran as well as other parts of the world is something that is very real. in most -- certainly, what i have tried to counsel on overtime is to do all we can to make sure we do not have another conflict break out in the middle east. that said, the economic impact, global economic impact of another war in that part of the world is pretty draconian. although we can respond -- we have focused for a number of years, i think your premise, i think us being on a stable solid footing as rapidly as possible is the key thing. and that will effect, should we get there, that will effect in a positive way our ability to
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respond to these uncertainties as opposed to the opposite, if we are unable to get on a solid footing and we keep eating at our security resources. that certainly creates a totally different possibility, most of which is significant downside. >> with "the wall street journal." anyone who would like to respond -- can you offer any more details on exactly what you mean by saying we can do more with less? are you thinking of a strategy that relies more on drones and special operations forces? does it mean not making a pivot to asia with the kinds of forces we are talking about? what meat on the bone are we talking about? will there be a new kind of containment strategy you hope to put forward?
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where exactly are you headed? >> i have been one who has been involved in the budget world a lot in my career. i have worked hard to stay away from that -- i think the phrase do more with less, that is just counting dollars. with leadership focused on where the dollars are going and, as senator nunn, said, more effective and efficiency in procurement costs, the cost of health care in the pentagon -- they have grown at an enormous rate and they continue to grow, as has been the case in the country. those health care costs and the pentagon, which are significant for our personnel, are unsustainable. that too is -- we are going to have to figure out how to temper them in a way that both meets the needs of our people and also
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recognizes their limits. it is the totality of that, i think, that is really out there. and i know -- as i did when i was there, and the leaders, very heavily focused on this right now, how to do this. mr. peterson spoke -- comments i made a couple years ago. our budget has doubled. in the crisis of war, we did not have to prioritize. we did not have to make the hard decisions that many of us had to make in the 1990's. we lost our analytical underpinning. that is all coming back to bear on the current problem. if we do that, my point is that we can spend less and actually make the requirements, whether they are unilateral requirements for the united states to protect our vital interests or requirements that we address with other partners throughout
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the world. >> we have time for no more questions. >> thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> next, senate finance
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committee max baucus of montana talks about the so-called fiscal of negotiations. after that, a discussion on possible changes to current tax law. then former reagan administration officials recall negotiations that resulted in the 1987 intermediate nuclear forces treaty with the soviet union. >> tomorrow, a discussion on the latino vote impact on the 2012 presidential election. hosted by immigration works usa, a coalition that promotes changes to u.s. immigration laws. 9:00 a.m. eastern on c-span 2. >> i think people still love discovery. the ability to find surprises. every month or every year i hear about some show that people are suddenly talking about that i do not think you could have ever
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imagined choosing. you could say, mike, i want you to choose honey boo boo or the show with the duck duy or a certain food channel network -- i do not think if i had to predetermine, i would ever pick them. but the ability to stumble on them, or hear people talking about them and going in and dabbling around and suddenly you boo andlike honwy boo boney boo now i'm watching a -- i think that is still a huge part of the american television experience. i still think a lot of americans love the instrument of escapism and passivity and being able to run around the tv jungle fighting things they did not know were there. >> michael powell on the future of television. monday night at 8:00 eastern on
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"the communicators" on c-span 2. >> tuesday, senate finance committee max baucus called the extension of tax cuts on incomes under $250,000. he made and -- earmarks any event founded by the campaign to fix the debt. they were founded by the former cochairs of the national commission on fiscal responsibility and reform. >> welcome back, everybody. thank you. i think that was a really terrific panel on health care. we are really lucky to have special guests join us for our tax panel. chairman baucus, who is the chairman of the senate finance
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committee, will talk both about the budget negotiations that are going on now on the fiscal cliff. but what is really important is that both senator baucus and another senator will be some of the lead folks who are shepherding whatever kind of framework hopefully comes out of the fiscal cliff through their committees to help develop details of how to do tax reform. we lucky to have with us today chairman baucus. he has been thinking about these ideas for quite some time. he has a tremendous amount of expertise. he will talk about where the situation is. thank you, senator. [applause] >> thank you, maya. thank you to everyone for adding this together.
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very interesting set up. i do not know if there will be darts or spitballs on my back. it is good to be here and help in whatever way i can. first, i would like to commend erskine bowles and simpson further laserlike focus on this. you are engaging the american. you have drawn attention to the fiscal challenges that are threatening our future. many here today are proponents of the simpson-bowles plan. i have served with senator simpson and senator bowles. this report has helped advance the national level and has taken on increasing importance. it should be part of our debt reduction debate. i would like to start this morning by telling you what i
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am hearing from home in montana. i am just a hired hand. i work for those folks in montana. there is a rivalry we call the brawl of the wild. that is what it is. i think that is what we should call the united states congress. thousands of fans walked into the stadium to watch the game. during the game, mostly during the halftime, fans came up to me and said, hi. good to see you. we started talking about football, but it always turn to washington. not once did he say, don't do
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this. don't cut my favorite program. not once did i receive a request. my montana bosses told me, get it done. you guys need to get it done. i was stunned at the intensity that people spoke to me to get it done. these folks do not ask for stalemate. they do not ask for inflexibility or for their representatives to dig into ideology. they want us to work together and tackle these challenges. keeping with the football thing, i will share wisdom from the packers coach -- people who work together will win. whether it be against complex
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football defenses or the problems of society. this is a simple lesson, one we all learn as children. it is what we need to do now. things could be harder. $7 trillion of tax cuts will expire 27 days from today. adding to the spending cuts and tax increases and sequestration. it would be hard to find a single american not affected by these changes. you all know how serious this is. you believe, like me, he can't do this to prevent the fiscal crisis. the answer is not to extend everything and delay the spending cuts. that is not the answer. this is an opportunity, an opportunity to commit to a balance plan to put our national debt act down to sustainable levels.
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the united states i believe is that a critical junction. we can come together and show the world that we still have responsible actors. people are watching, do we still have it? i spent a few days last fall meeting with the european leaders meeting with finance ministers and the head of the european commission to try to get a sense of europe. they have got to find a way to work out all of their differences to save the euro. i believe they will.
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you can see it and feel it. they will find a way. they will muddle through, but they will find a way to get it done. these countries are also looking to us.
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included a discarding of the old nation of communique's on issues about which we disagreed and patched over with language that was always misinterpreted and establishment of the arms control, human rights and -- human rights, arms control, regional issues and bi-la salle rail -- bilateral issues. it meant we didn't trade one interest for another. it was interesting how quickly people would say if the soviet union does something we don't like let's make them pay with a u.s. interest.
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as we got away with that with the new negotiating approach and made our way to geneva, we arrived with some sense of things being very different in the soviet union. one of the preparatory trips we had met with the one member who said, you know, as new leaders when we got to be in charge the cupboard was bare. i'm not sure a lot of that had registered in the washington intelligence community where we kept getting a d sense of the -- d sense of the soviet listen and became different to see what we were getting from the intelligence side and seeing across the table. in geneva as president reagan met gorbachev for the first time and met in front of their fireplace conversation and later walking language the lake you began to see the emerge generals of people to saccept president reagan's view of the role of
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nuclear represents. and the key document that emerged from geoff besides the agreement it meet later, the joint statement said at the beginning the two leaders agree that nuclear war can't be won and must never be fought. there were negotiations on for i.n.f. but they began it take their lead from the outcome of the smut -- summit discussions. we kept running into bilateral issues. we had the case in which a correspondent was picked up in moscow. we had problems with so-called marine corps security breaches in moscow. we had problems with people concerned about the fact that the new u.s. embassy in moscow was one grand tuning fork for
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soviet intelligence listening. and each became an obstacle to getting to this summit meeting we were supposed to have and getting on with the arms control agenda in a way the negotiators could do something with. exchangean interesting of correspondence in which they begin to trade ideas on how to proceed on the start side to reduce weapons and i.n.f. but it the middle is very real soviet distaste an fear of the voyage defense initiative. think not enough can be given to the role of s.d.i. in fostering and hindering the dialogue and worrying the alliance members who were not sure this zero-zero wouldn't make this negotiations a joke that the united states was not prepared to negotiate seriously. at reykjavik we arrived, many
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said unprepared, untrue. the united states team arrived with some of the largest volumes of possible positions and responses to soviet positions that you could see. they were totally prepared. but the difficulty was, again, s.d.i. and, jack, i know is no take for one fof the opening sessions. but as the two men met again their relationship having been fostered through the exchange of correspondence and george schultz about his meetings with gosh khefr it -- gorbachev it had to be clear that s.d.i. would not be negotiated away. in geneva in one of the side stories you may have heard about the president said to mr. gosh khref and we were -- gorbachev and we were using simultaneous translation, a wonderful tool. instead of having to sit through the sessions as people talked 30
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minutes and had to sit for 30 minutes of translation, these men were engaged actively across the table and when president reagan said i will share with you the technology of the strategic defense initiative gorbachev said it was an outburst of laughter you won't share with us milking machine technology. those of us who were note takers had stopped taking notes. so these two men arrived in geneva and reykjavik with a dialogue in place, a style of talking with each other in place, a respect for each other, which was palpable and a belief that each could probably deliver on what they were talking about. very important. but as everyone knows, talk disappeared or broke down on s.d.i. on the last day. but what was there for i.n.f. was the agreement that there would be 100 long range i.n.f.
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missiles on each side. europe would be free of such missiles. the 100 would be placed in soviet asia and for the united states it looked as if our 100 would be in alaska. with what kinds of target is hard to say but it would be 100 and 100. gorbachev set off at that point a circuit to try to use s.d.i. as the obstacle to further progress and get us to accept a different position. meanwhile, we had at reykjavik on the telephone to make sure we got to our basing countries before the press got to them called each of the basing countries and their leadership or whoever was available on a late sunday night in europe to inform them of the outcome of the i.n.f. talks and 100 and 100 and global and zero in europe and was greeted with total shock. people who had fallen in love
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with arms control finally discovered that they were in love with missiles. and decoupling began to appear on the u.s. side as rick side and on the television in the united states. leader after leader, general after general, former secretary of state after former secretary of state went on television to talk about the dangerous decoupling of united states from europe as a result of this decision. it was very clear that the president had in mind what he was doing, knew what he was doing and george schultz and he worked very closely on this. gorbachev failed in his effort to say s.d.i. is the reason there could not be more agreement and approached the united states in the spring of 1987 to say it had to be a global zero, nothing else seems to work. and with respect to short range missiles which had been not really part of the discussion we had none, they had some, they
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would agree it -- to zero. it was an incredible announcement from the soviet side carefully passed along that produced a zero-zero prospect in the spring of 1987. >> rose, thank you. jack, were you in moscow this 1985 to 1987?m >> no, i was in washington. and in reykjavik and geneva. >> on the reagan staff. >> trying to figure out what the russians were up to. from your point of view as a russian expert, what was going on in the russian mind as all of this was taking place? what was the importance of the emergence of gorbachev as the leader of the soviet union? >> there were a number of very important questions out there.
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i think we understand now better than we understood at the time one of the misperceptions i believe that we had was that the deployment of the s.s.-20's had been calculated in advance to be a threat to europe and to decouple the alliance. now, as we look back now, we find that they had not staffed this whatsoever and it was largely a matter of the inertia of the military complex. they would build them because they could and the foreign ministry was not consulted before their decision to deploy the ss-20. we now know there was a minority of opinion after the deployment that this was a strategic error because it would be seen as a threat to western europe and
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that it would bring a reaction from the united states that would be threatening. now, as we look back, one could argue from the soviet point of view that if they had these i.n.f. missiles and we had no comparable missiles stationed in europe, this would be a military advantage. however, once the united states stationed i.n.f. missiles in euro europe, suddenly they are better they are withthan american missiles in europe. why? because if we can use them in retaliation to some other thing we could hit the soviet union by missiles that did not originate on the american homeland. now, would they then risk virtual annihilation by attacking the u.s.? no. that was the reverse of what we
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would have faced if they had used the i.n.f. missiles to attack our allies in europe. we would be faced without the i. i.n.f. in europe to using our intercontinental and if effect committing suicide. so, everything was reversed by the deployment. i think what rick has said about the deployment is absolutely right. we had to deploy in order to show the soviets that their real interest was zero. now, of course, in reykjavik we were very close to agreeing and we have had agreed if gorbachev had not put conditions on 100 outside europe. whether we ever would have deployed 100 in alaska i doubt. but the problem from the russian point of view was that gorbachev also wanted to improve relations with china and japan.
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and with 100 i.n.f. missiles directed at them how was he going to do that? it was not in their interests to have 100 missiles out of europe. and it was really in their interest. now we've access of records of politburo discussions. let me go back to a couple of words about president reagan. before he first met gorbachev, he wrote out on a yellow pad several pages, without any prompting from anybody, what he wanted to achieve at geneva in his first meeting. bud mcfarland handed me this as we were getting on the plane to go to geneva saying there is what the president has in his mind. if he is wrong somewhere we will have to straighten him out in briefings. actually, it was a very per self-active paper and among --
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pe perce perceptive. one of them was a lack of trust or we were not going to some anything else. added if i don't achieve anything else, i must convince gorbachev that though we don't want an arms race, if he wants one he is going to lose it. and, number three, whatever we achieve, we must not call it victory. because that will simply make any further improvement more difficult. now, let's go past the reykjavik meeti meeting. in february of 1987, gorbachev is facing the politburo and is telling them we've got to come to terms because these missiles
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are pointed right at our head, a pistol at our head. let's go to zero. they want zero. the defense minister said how about the british and french missiles? they had wanted compensation. gorbachev in effect said get real. we are not going to have a war with britain and france. what are you talking about? then he again to berate the defense ministry, saying you have been robbing our people spending so much on defense you are scaring everybody else. that has given them an excuse for an arms race and i will tell you comrades, if we let them get by with forcing us into an arms race we are going to lose it. exactly what president reagan was trying to do tactically. i would say that people at the time -- i know some of marvin's
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colleagues would say reagan really didn't pay that much attention to details, his eyes would glaze over if you got in numbers of missiles and warheads and stuff. and, true, he didn't look at those things. he concentrated on the basic things. how do i understand this other fellow and convince him to do something that is actually in his own interests because his current pil policies are not. we spent much more time, and i think effective time, talking to reagan about where gorbachev was coming from and what his pressures were and one fof the things that we needed to do was to convince them we were not out to do them in. among other things, reagan said in that same memo that human
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rights was too important to carry it out entirely as a public policy. he said we are much too up front. if we confront him publicly, no politician can back down. we have to begin to handle this more privately. so, he began to move off of the shouting at each other, condemning each other -- not that that stopped totally, but more and more putting it into a dialog dialogue, and a reasonable dialogue that included such things as these very effective tutorials by secretary of state schultz. in any event, the i.n. tpfpf. t was a victory for both sides by the time we made it. and i think it is a model, in looking these sorts of issues in the future. i would qualify that by saying i think every issue, every country
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has unique aspects. you can't say simply because something worked in one situation it is going to work in another. however, the idea that you have to get some understanding of a strategic relationship which is not threatening in order to solve these problems of arms reduction, i think, is very true. it was not a matter, as many people seemed to think, of just getting the right formula such as walk in the woods. it was rather a matter of going back it basics and why are we doing this.t basics and why are doing this.t basics and why are doing this.o basics and why are doing this. that is what we got across with i.n.f. and on a lot of other subjects subsequently. >> the three of you have presented marvelous insight into what was going on at that time building up to the i.n.f.
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treaty, and you have spent, all three of you, a good bit of time talking about two personalities. the analysis often was that the system governed the direction of policy, not the individual. yet you have spent a great deal of time talking about two people, reagan and gorbachev. could we have had an i.n.f. treaty at the ends of the day if there were if gosh khefr and reagan? -- no no gorbachev and no reagan? >> i want to go back. i think there were three participants in a sense. there was reagan, gorbachgorbact there were also the allies. that was a critical aspect to this. without somebody who was prepared to tough out the deployment piece of this -- and
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here i agree with jack -- without demonstrating the credibility of the u.s. administration but the alliance as a whole, you couldn't have gotten the treaty, in my judgment. and i think we underestimate the political defeat the russians experienced with the successful deployment. they saw this as an opportunity to divide the alliance. they threatened in the early 1980's -- jack will remember this -- an ice age if nato went forward with deployments. so, i think the fact that you had the credibility of deployment and you had this unique guy gorbachev -- i'm not a sovietologist but when you think of leadership before gosh chef -- gorbachev and also after, certainly if you look at today's leadership and direction
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that president putin is moving, he certainly would have been -- he wouldn't have been, i think, willing like gorbachev to really take the risk that gorbachev took. finally, and this is a critical point -- and i know you want to talk about iran in a few minutes and whether there is a case study here -- i'm not sure that the u.s. system, even with ronald reagan, would have been willing to engage in this kind of diplomacy without the let me call it the impact much of the allies on our system. because they had to take the missiles. we had to be uniquely sensitive to their politics and their concerns in a way we rarely are on most fortune policy and -- foreign policy and national security decisions. >> you immediately said no to my question meaning without these two. >> i think it tack -- took both
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of them. rick has mentioned the allies and that is important. i would also mention george schultz and edward chef national guard in addition si. neither of them could have done it without that support. -- shevardnadze. by the united states needed the confidence of somebody with the right swing -- wing that would be defensible. most of the democrats probably thought it was a good idea and they supported us every way as we were going toward the soviet union. >> not so much on deployment, jack. remember the nuclear freeze moment? >> i mean when we got the treaties. i would also say in the case of the soviets none of gorbachev's successors would have been
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capable of doing what he did to kaeu change soviet policy to understand the degree to which the predecessors' policies were not in their interest. to do t took gorbachev what is virtually impossible that is to change the institutions in your country. he ran great risks and ultimately he wasn't successful. but he was successful in most of the things that made a real difference to us. without the two of them i don't know how this was going to happen. >> do you share that view, without the two? >> i do. i happen to believe that those big chapters in history feature big men with the courage of an idea and courage of placing their own political futures on the line.
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but marvin, let me ends this chapter, this is an anniversary and we haven't gotten to the 8th of december yet. because it was one thing for the leaders to meet and come up with a broad skroutd line but it was -- outline but it was center for many in this recommend today and across -- room today there was a lot of hard work to put an agreement together based on these broad thoughts that were coming out of the discussions with the leaders. i have often thought that much of the progress was possible because of the decision that was made by the soviet union totally out of context of this discussion in stockholm in 1985, 1986, to say they would agree to verification through on site inspection, which they had never before agreed to but did in this case in stockholm. >> so, why do you think they did it this time? >> i think they began to --
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>> gorbachev again? >> could well have been. could have been their own military began to understand there was a reciprocal to on site inspection. it was not a one-way thing. that they would have the opportunity to look at the western military and defense establishment as they had not. but to the ends of all of this, as we had an agreement, there are stories along the way that i think if our colleagues got together would talk to midnight but jack mentioned ss-20 because it was the thing to do and they made it. there was a point where we asked how many of these do you have and they said i don't know. i'm not in charge of making them or ordering them. they produce them. they give me the ones i want. i don't know how many they make so i can't give you that number. i will have to go back and count. when we came toward the ends of the first part of december the teams are coming in here and getting ready and even the head
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of the k.g.b. was in town and i entertained him at my home one evening with some of the delegation to tell him that human rights couldn't be forgotten as all the headlines turned to arms control, everybody was gathering, we learned from the soviets that they didn't have a picture of an ss-20. so, they gave as you picture and it was of a canister. what could away do with that? they said the missile is inside. you will have to guess. i said that won't do. we need a picture of the ss-20. the next morning, now we are looking at december 5 or 6, the next morning we got a picture of it. finally, an old soviet game that i was sure we left behind when they said we can not proceed with this joint statement because your negotiators in
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moscow are giving us a hard time so until you agree on a new civil aviation agreement in moscow we won't proceed in geneva. we said folks, fellas, we don't play that game any more. we will not negotiate on that basis. we are leaving. we will be back when you decide to negotiate seriously on the task in front of us. and there was this exchange between the three of them and we came back. this was by way of saying the last item was the u.s. inspectors could only enter the german democratic republic through berlin. and we had spent 40 years saying that berlin was not the capital of the german democratic republic and we were not about to yield on that in the last minute. one of the major -- so there are other side stories that don't need repeating but the point was
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that the united states in this negotiation, reagan, schultz, the whole team that agreed that this was a good thing to do and there was a population in the town that didn't think, knew what they wanted and they were prepared to walk away unless they got it. firmness of their resolve to see it through and ake the risk of saying we will not proceed on that basis, yes, we will proceed on another basis, i think, were as important as the very real personalities that were involved. >> thank you very much, rose. the question for jack, in your study of the end of the soviet period what role did the i.n.f. negotiation, the whole process, play as the soviet union teetered toward an end? >> i'm not sure it had that much direct effect. i would say that ends being the
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arms race -- because this was the beginning of ending the arms race. it took a treaty and series of others to do so. and took the liberation of eastern europe, which went as a separate process. but i would say that these things actually freed up gorbachev to try to reform the system. it took the pressure off of him. as long as we had the arms race they had an excuse not for changing the system. once you end the cold war, not just the arms race, and gorbachev ended it ideologically december 7, 1988. today is also an anniversary of that. xactly a year after he signed the i.n.f. treaty. what he ended in that speech
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aside from announcing unilateral reductions in their military, he discarded the class struggle as the rationale for soviet foreign policy. that was the rationale that had kept the communist party as the dictatorship in the country. so the end of the cold war permitted the reforms that gorbachev started and these reforms, when three got out of hand, brought the end of the soviet union. three got out of control and the end of the soviet union, in my opinion, was caused almost entirely by internal forces, and these were up leashed by the end of the cold war beginning with the i.n.f. treaty. >> rose, do you share that view? >> i do and there are two words we haven't used. he was running all of -- he was
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attempting to change in the soviet union internally even as he was engaged with us. and starting about forces out of control that is a lot to have going on at the same time and it is in many respects a wonder he held on as long as he did. >> rick, you mentioned earlier on the russians made a fundamental mistake when they moved the ss-20's in. were there any fundamental mistakes that the united states might have made? >> on the management of this issue i think we almost ran in a couple of ditches. but we kept it on the road. i have to say, i think about the last 20 years, 30 years of u.s. foreign policy, but in particular the last 10 years. i do call it the disciplining impact of working within the
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alliance. because this was an allian alliance-wide effort, because in order to deploy in these countries the governments in question had to take ownership for the negotiation. now, they were not going to be sitting at the negotiating table but there was a consultative group in nato and enabled these people to go back and governments in question to say we are part of this process. trust us, we are not going to let the americans do some crazy thing. and i have to tell you, there were so many people in the reagan administration that were unhappy hearing the state department architects over and over -- architeguments saying w can't do that because it will harm our was. so if somebody had a gntpha neu
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bomb we can go to the president and say this will make i.n.f. deployment and arms control efforts more difficult. and most foreign policy issues that washington has to address and any administration has to address the allies are taken into account. but not in the same way as they were in this i.n.f. process. >> if you all have some questions, this is your moment in the sun. raise your hand and i will try to recognize you. >> for many who dealt with the united states you understand that is a subtle brushoff. in the case of the allies it was not. these were very strong leaders and they insisted on their views not only being taken into account but being made a part of what we were doing. >> ok. please raise your hand if you have a question.
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there is no shortage of microphones. if you have a question, please raise your hand. currently with the state department thanks to rod ridgeway who was my mentor. you said big men write big history. is there any hope today that we still have big people, men or women, on the scene who can write some history? because we have a lot of problems. someone mentioned iran. iraq, afghanistan. we have these things out there with no exits. do we've big people? >> thank you. >> i think we will when we need them. but we have not given credit to
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-- history bringing an issue it a point where it is ready to be resolved. march in and be a big person and bring all of this together and solve. there is a ripening of an issue and readiness of people to talk, more than one person to talk about it. >> i would say there is certainly a ripening of the issue of iran which has been ripening for years now. and there are many presidential statements that have been made about a determination on the part of the u.s. never to allow iran to develop nuclear weapons. during the presidential campaign we heard that from both candidates. is there a lesson that we have picked up from the i.n.f. negotiations that could be applied today as we look ahead to the iran negotiations? rick, you can start, then jack. >> from one perspective you could say yes.
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that is that there is a kind of dual track -- some people would say there are more than two tracks -- the situation in play with iran now is similar in the sense that you have got a sanctions policy that is putting heavy pressure on the iranian regime in the same way the threat of the u.s. deployment of cruise missiles and pershings did. so there is an incentive the iranians have to seek a solution that, in the absence of the sanctions -- wouldn't exist. then you have the diplomatic track. what is missing here is it is arguable how active the diplomatic track has actually been. i'm struck by, for instance, the fact that the europeans, who have been involved in this process all along -- it is the
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five plus one -- have largely let the timing and pace be set by the united states. it is going to be, i think, the obama administration's call especially with the external pressure of the israelis kind of constantly hovering out there and netanyahu's talk about a red line. when is the united states going to get really serious about the second track? i'm one of these people who believes there is an agreement out there that could be reached and that would lead to a non-nuclear weapons iran. but i think the diplomacy has to be stepped up. and jack's point about a republican conservative able to achieve agreements of this sort that are more difficult for a democrat is a very important one
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he here. no matter what kind of agreement -- if there's an agreement reached with iran, it will be attacked by a lot of constituencies, but many of them are going to be republicans. >> i could give you many examples where democratic president has reached major agreements, too, but well let that go. jack? >> in any situation you have windows of opportunity possibly. there are other times when the personalities make it impossi e impossible. it wouldn't have helped in the 1930's. the thing is as far as iran is concern concerned, i think that there are lessons. and one is that the time to negotiate with iran was when they had a relatively moderate
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government in 2003, before we attacked iraq. now, you do them a great favor -- i'm taking out -- by taking out their main enemy without any apparent negotiation whatsoever. now, i think we could have made a very useful deal with iran after 9/11. after all, al qaeda is their ene enemy. iraq was their enemy. we have a lot of things in common then. so, the time was 2003. now, what we have there with the histo history, i don't think that it is going to be that easy particularly to tdo public negotiations given the political stance that both have made. but, the basic principle is we
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should have been looking for a strategic dialogue with iran, and i would even go back to 1910e 1990's. i think that was also a mistake of the clinton administration when they had the double contain ment which didn't make much sense. but the fact is that both parties have taken positions that have made it extremely difficult now to achieve negotiation. but i think rick is right. in my opinion there is a solution out there, but we have in effect locked ourselves in and they have locked themselves in politically in a way that is going to make it very difficult. >> let's hope that you are both right about this lurking solution that is out there somewhere. you have a question? >> i'm james wilson i work in the historians office on the
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form legislations the -- formulations in the united states series and we are putting together volumes of people mayor documents on -- primary documents on the soviet union and arms control in the 1980's and we looked through old office files. it is of great historical interest to us. my question is that in january of 1989 a new administration comes in and there are a number of people who had been playing a role in 1987 and 1988, yet there seems to be a real change in attitude toward the soviet union and it is always a lingering mystery to some of us looking at this. >> well, i was there. >> do you want to answer that? >> yes. you are right. because am the bush administration i negotiated one treaty and there were a lot of people befuddled by the fact
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that the new group in the white house -- and it was a white house group mainly -- and very good people, like brent scowcroft and arnie cantor, were taking a very skeptical approach suddenly to the russians and there was the view -- and i think that god bless him brent scowcroft really believed that ronald reagan got -- kind of fell in love with there process with gorbachev and that they aren't kind of clear minded and clear eyed enough about the russians. bob gates, who had moved over as deputy national security advisor, that little group kind of delayed the process, i would say, for about six months. because the people at state, i think, were ready to progress
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with what had been achieved at the end of the second reagan administration. but just really delayed things. and the person who turned that around and he also deserves great deal of credit, was jim baker. jim baker did a great job putting together an inner-agency management of this process and the different players and spent a good deal of time, i would say for a year and a half or two years, would arrive in moscow with an untragedy -- entourage with the negotiators. the relevant assistant secretaries, broke them into working groups and i think continued that process that roz participated in with the russians. but there was a delay. but i don't think it set us back. i don't think there were any
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problems as a result of that process. >> thank you. >> i was going to say james baker was named secretary of state the day after george bush was elected. within a week he met with the regional assistant secretaries who understand their priorities. i met with him and told him my priorities were the opportunities and challenges it include the eastern europe and soviet union and he said to me don't you really believe that you pushed the president too fast. don't you believe you have gone too far? i said no, i do not believe that. the administration changed. we were asked to do inner-agency studies and we turned in one that showed continue the same path. we were sort of laughed out of town. rick said we lost six months. i thought we lost two years. >> on this point let me say i
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think we lost our momentum with iran-contra during the reagan administration. >> thank you. the ambassador wanted to say something here. right here, please. >> avis boland, i was involved in i.n.f. in various capacities. i just wanted to -- marvin, you heard me say this morning and i would repeat i think one of the lessons from i.n.f. that relates to iran is don't be afraid it negotiate. we arguably had no choice because the allies wouldn't deploy without an arms control track. but the soviets didn't know that lesson so they walked out and put themselves in a corner from which they had to crawl back in 1985. i think as jack and all of you mentioned, there might have been
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windows of opportunity with iran that we missed because we tangled ourselves up in the conditions before we would negotiate and the iranians had to do what they had to do in the negotiations. and i think a question is whether left to ourselves in i.n.f. we would not have engaged in the same games. as rick mentioned, at the beginning of the reagan administration there was the desire on the part of the new administration to stop the arms control. and it was was only the up roarm the allies that pushed them in the other direction. >> thank you very much. question in the back, please.
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>> dan whitman. let me know if this is off tong but i believe there was a meeting in the last couple of days in dublin and russians and americans met with somebody -- is it possible that something might be happening in terms of russian policy toward syria? since we mentioned iran, can we get as far away as syria? >> you can get as far away as syria hopefully with some connection to the i.n.f. the question of syria is of totally sufficient importance that we could address that. thank you for the question. my own gut feeling -- i don't know what you guys think -- the russians have been for the last several weeks, there have been indications of unhappiness with
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what is going on in syria without a clear sense of what it is that they can contribute and whether they could do it on their own or with the u.s. the u.s. has always wanted the russians to be part of that kind of a solution if there be one at all. so, if the russians in any way are moving toward the american position with respect to sir why, i think we are better off for it. if anyone with like to answer that, please do. no? ok, another question out here? >> there is one right up here. then we'll assume that is the last question. >> i wonder if you all hinted or alluded to it, i wonder if you recall the public diplomacy dimension of the movement toward i.n.f. negotiations. >> i remember it very well. i think it was sort of the
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anti-public diplomacy, not with respect to the allies. we carefully stayed in touch with allies. but the practice meeting by meeting by meeting with soviet leadership was a complete shutdown on comment to the president until the meeting was over. >> amen. >> that was one, if i may say, that was one of the great boo-boos that you all did. because you might have had great relations with the allies but you didn't with the american public. >> i don't know about the american public. >> the american public was ill informed about whether the u.s. government was trying do at that time. there was a huge uproar -- and if you listen very carefully it was the sense that i had anyway that the government did not know exactly what it wanted to do. that it was confuse and without a clear sense of direction. but maybe you had a clear sense
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of direction. >> we had a clear sense and you we told you. you just didn't believe us. at geneva i sat down with a group of anchors -- you were not one of them -- and one of them know, we didn't know this was coming. and i said the president made speech january 16, 1984, this was more than a year and a half before, and most of your people said he was playing politics. he set forth in that speech what he wanted to do. and i think we were very open. it was simply that the press was extraordinari extraordinarily, i would say, concept confidentiskeptical tha knew what he was doing. now, there's another side to public diplomacy and that is how about the soviet union. roz mentioned a very important agreement at geneva that a
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nuclear war cannot be won and must not be fought. there was also an extremely important agreement to expand exchang exchanges. we had had an exchange agreement from the knicnixon separation a hrafr until the carter administration. we got it responded and gorbachev allowed it to happen. gradually with the policy of gl glastnost he opened up the press and they started having westerners including by 1987 the american ambassador very frequently on their national television. so, we began to communicate directly with the soviet people.
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both our media, private media, but our officials, much more so. and i think this played a very important role in easing the tensions. westernersn you have discussing sympathetically their proble often in their own language, this was conveying the opposite image of the one of hostility. i think this played an important role in the american public and the soviet public in supporting what gorbachev was trying to do. >> thank you, sir. what i would like to ask our panel is to take a minute each and give me your sense of the lessons learned from the entire i. i.n.f. experience and how they might apply to today or some lesson that is learned perhaps just professionally. and i'm going to start by asking
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myself this question. how could the anchors in 1985 have been so foolish as to believe that a president at the beginning of a presidential campaign making a foreign policy speech that was almost totally different in tone from the soviet union than the tone he took in the first three years, not to have in mind that politics might have something to do with it? but the media is so skeptical. so, let's start here. a minute, minute, minute. >> a minute on the meeting of the impact of i.n.f., lessons learned? i think the principal lesson learned in looking at some of the things talked about today is you must know the total range of your interests and be prepared to serve all of them equally well and not allow yourself to get tangled up in setting
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conditions that no one can meet unless it is your objective to avoid negotiations. but if you want negotiations you must make it possible for your partner to get to the table. >> excellent. thank you very much. jack? >> the one that i would take away is the importance not one of eliminating weapons that you want to rather than putting a limit on them. and second, verifying that. it is easier to verify zero than any concrete number. and, therefore, i think we really have to get our minds off of simply putting limits on types of arms but trying to get rid of those that we don't want. we are facing now the possible problem of syria using chemical weapons. they should have been abolished five or 10 years ago if a treaty had been enforced.
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so, it seems to me go for abolition of these weapons with good thorough verification. it worked with i.n.f. despite the fact two or three years before we got it there was almost no specialist thought be acceptable. >> rick, your turn. >> as the chairman of the global zero u.s.a. i have to agree with ja jack. i won't expound on that. there was no way when i was deeply involved in the issue in the early 1980's that i could have foreseen gorbachev nor could i have foreseen the treaty. in fact, i thought the zero option, when it was propounded, was preposterous. i opposed it. so did the secretary of state. we viewed this -- and i guess
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this is the lesson -- we viewed this as largely a challenge and an opportunity to strike the alliance. we saw ourselves under threat. the double track decision and deployment of the missiles was part of a broader political military exercise to strengthen the alliance so we could deal with whatever the next challenge we would face from the soviet union. what i have to say is that you have to learn to pivot, and that is exactly what the reagan administration did. when they found themselves with somebody that they could do business with, it pivoted and ronald reagan may have been the only guy in the administration that really believed in the zero opti
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god he went after t. and here i have to agree with roz. a big man with a big thought. if you are president of the united states, you can achieve a great deal. >> thank you very much. thank you all very much. thank you for coming. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> next, "q&a" with the publisher of the internet blog conservative black chick.com and 7:00 a.m. your calms and -- calls and comments on "washington journal." the president is traveling to michigan where he will visit the daimler diesel auto plant. we will have the president live beginning approximately 1:35 eastern on c-span.
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>> i think people still love discovery. i don't mean just the channel. i mean the ability it find surprises. every month or every year i google a little bit about some show people are talking about that i don't think you could have ever imagined choosing. because say i i want you to choose honey boo-boo or the show with the dark guy or a certain food channel network. i don't think if i had to predetermine that was my preference i would ever pick them. but the ability to stumble on them or hear people talking about them and let me go into an environment and go dabbling around i sort of like honey boo-boo and now i'm watching that. that is a huge part of the american television experience and i think it is sold short when you get to talking about any time, anywhere, now.
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i do still think a lot of americans love the enjoyment of escaping and passivity and being able to roam around the tv jungle finding things they didn't know were there. >> michael powell on the future of television tonight on "the communicators" on c-span 2. >> this week, crystal wright, editor and publisher of the internet blog site, conservativeblackchick.com. >> crystal wright, why did you call your blog "conservative black chick." >> not a big story behind that. i felt it illustrated who i was. it is literal and fun.
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i was at a reunion for my alma mater. a good friend of mine said i should just do my own blog. >> when did you start? >> 2009. i started blogging in 2009. i was very frustrated by barack obama's election. he ran as a moderate democrat. to pull people in the red state of virginia to turn blue, i said, this is interesting. in january, he began to make his appointments and i began to see the same faces of the see the same faces of the